Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Love And Lament by John Milliken Thompson

One dead child after another and then their mother.  How could Cicero stand any more?  He only had three of his nine children left and was constantly worried they would be gone too. His worry wasn't over with the three that were still living. 

LOVE AND LAMENT was the saga of Mary Bet Hartsoe and was set in the late 1800's when typhoid was rampant, when deaths were on a daily basis, and when inventions of machinery were beginning to surface to make factories and lives easier. The late 1800's was a time of change for everyone both personally and historically.  The book dealt with many social issues and is very deep, thoughtful and intellectual.  
LOVE AND LAMENT was beautifully written.  The author had amazing prose and detailed, remarkable descriptions. At times the descriptions were so vivid, you could feel the grass under your feet, smell the aromas in the air, and share the pain of the characters. Despite the marvelous writing, it was a bit tedious and difficult to get into at first, but once I became attached to the main character, Mary Bet, it held my interest.  
Mary Bet was the youngest of the nine children, the one who stayed with her father, and the one who was quite headstrong for a woman of that era.  It was amusing to see the social protocol of that time especially the "rules" for courting and the woman's role in following these "rules."
It was a book about family, suffering, and living life no matter what circumstances are thrown your way.  If you enjoy historical  fiction, description at its finest, but details a bit too drawn out at times, you will enjoy LOVE AND LAMENT. 4/5
This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I can't imagine having to lose even one child. How heartbreaking. It makes me grateful for what we have today especially as I have such precious grandchildren. Thanks for a great review.

  2. Wonderful review, Elizabeth! The moment I first heard about this book, I was intrigued.

  3. THANKS, Beth. was unbelievable what folks went through before we had medicines to help.

  4. I saw this one at BEA; the publisher spoke to our table at the Speed Dating event. I'm glad that you liked it so much.

  5. Oh my goodness..wonder if you were at my table.

    I heard him speak about it as well.